VIDEO: Bush On North Korea: “Plan For The Worst…”

“…hope for the best”:

More via Breitbart/AP:

President Bush said Thursday that the United States is seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with North Korea, but cautioned that diplomacy will take time.

Bush said he was pleased that leaders of China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, in telephone calls during the past few days, agreed that the reclusive communist regime should not be allowed to possess nuclear weapons.

“My message was that we want to solve this problem diplomatically, and the best way to solve this problem diplomatically is for all of us to be working in concert,” Bush said.

Bush said the nations’ message to Kim Jong Il was, “We expect you to adhere to international norms. We expect you to keep your word.”

He said that what’s important is that the international community speak with one voice.

“Diplomacy takes a while,” he said, “We’re spending time, diplomatically, making sure that voice is unified.”

“Let’s send a common message that you won’t be rewarded for ignoring the world and that you’ll be isolated if you continue to do this and yet there’s a way forward,” Bush said.

The sensitive issue of Canada joining the U.S. missile shield was also raised during the Bush-Harper presser to which President Bush noted that he did not mention the issue to Mr. Harper: “I figured if he was interested, he would tell me.”

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Greg Tinti
About Greg Tinti
Greg started the blog The Political Pit Bull in August 2005. He was OTB's Breaking News Editor from June through August 2006 before deciding to return to his own blog. His blogging career eventually ended altogether. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from The George Washington University,

Comments

  1. Oh that unilateral cowboy. Waiting until a nation that decided to not participate in a nuclear defense to bring up the question of changing their mind. Surely the Bush hobgoblin of the leftist mind would have just sent troops to force Canada to join.

    And his acting in diplomatic unity with NK’s neighbors. What self respecting cowboy would even think of getting a posse together to corral a criminal?

  2. legion says:

    A cowboy looking at seven bad guys, with only one six-shooter left. And it’s empty. And the bad guys know it.

  3. McGehee says:

    A cowboy looking at seven bad guys, with only one six-shooter left. And it�s empty. And the bad guys know it.

    Because the New York Times blabbed.

  4. legion says:

    No, McG. They just counted the bullets. Which is just what Bush finally did.

    If NK or Iran decide to go forth and actually invade their neighbor, it doesn’t take an “All-Access” badge at the Pentagon (or even a subscription to the NYT) to tally up our response options:
    – Do nothing
    – Shift the country into an _actual_ (as opposed to spin-cycle) wartime economy, complete with full military draft, rationing, and tax increases
    – Start lobbing nukes

    We don’t have enough diplomatic clout to get a resolution approving sunshine passed, at the UN or any other international gathering. We don’t have the economic power to single-handedly deter people with embargo threats.

    The rest of the world is not afraid of us, and Bush’s blustering & bullying is the reason.

  5. Legion,

    You seem to be in possession of several facts that aren’t available to me.

    Lets try a few relevant factors.

    1) How many US carrier groups are tied up in operations in Iraq? Compare the combat capability of a US carrier group to the air forces of Iran or North Korea.

    2) What percentage of the US forces are in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why do you characterize the 90% of the US military who aren’t engaged in Iraq as similar to being out of bullets.

    3) Compare and contrast military operations aimed at attacking a nation without intent to immediately invade and taking/holding territory? Why couldn’t the US use its considerable strategic bombing assets to deal with Iran or NK?

    4) Is the real danger Iran and NK pose that they will invade their neighbor (which neighbor by the way) or that they will develop and use nukes?

    5) Have you chatted with Mr. Qaddafi about whether or not the US military is feared? He seems to have come to a different conclusion from you.

  6. legion says:

    YAJ,
    – Carrier groups are great assets. So are the AF’s strategic & tactical bombers. But if NK decides to send a million troops walking across the parallel, there’s only so much that conventional bombing can do to stop infantry. Ditto if Iran decides to take advantage of the chaos in Iraq by sending their troops west. If grunts are given a chance to put boots on the ground, they’re notoriously difficult to kick out with anything other than bigger boots.

    – The number of troops on the books does not necessarily equal the number of combat-ready, world-deployable units. Also, there are certain legal limits on deploying some of those troops (esp. Guard & Reserve) that can’t be stepped around short of the whole “no-sh*t-go-to-war” option I mentioned.

    – Good question. If they invade, we can directly attack their formations – that’s probably easier from our point of view. If they just make pains of themselves – launching Dongs or Scuds or whatever – we’re probably limited to taking out specific military targets… And our ground-level intel on the exact locations and vulnerabilities of either Iran’s or NK’s hardened sites is notoriously shallow. It’s more of an issue in NK than Iran, but strategic bombing of a national infrastructure, even with our smartest smart weapons, will result in many many thousands of civilian casualties. Some posters here will say “so what?”, but that’s a different debate…

    – I’m assuming the major threats are NK -> SK and Iran -> Iraq (I don’t think Iran’s crazy enough to try an invasion of Israel proper, but you never know…). As for nukes, what would they be used for other than as a prelude to invasion? Even Kim, crazy as he is, has to get the question “so if we launch a nuke on Tuesday, what do we do on Wednesday?”

    – Aw, c’mon. That fruit loop has been effectively neutered ever since the last time we bombed him. The only reason he “swore off” WMDs was PR… he was even less of a realistic threat than Saddam.

  7. Legion,

    1) Remember the Gulf war (about 15 years ago)? Remember the first phase consisting of air strikes. If you want to take ground, air is only part of the equation. If you want to disrupt offensive operations (your scenario of Iran or NK invading a neighbor), air is a great way to do it. Especially if you have air superiority. I think you are underestimating a major asset that isn’t being used currently in Iraq because it interferes with you BDS view of the world.

    2) So you dismiss the fact the 90% of the military is not in Iraq with “does not necessarily equal the number of combat-ready, world-deployable units”. By the way, I was not including guard or reserves. Yes we have forces deployed, but we are a long way from being tapped out. BTW, given that one of your scenarios is Iran into Iraq, don’t you suspect that the troops in Iraq could cut back on counter insurgency operations and kick some Iranian butt?

    3) So now we have something between do nothing, total war and nukes. Yes, taking out the bridges, oil fields, electrical facilities, telephone exchanges, government buildings, etc can tend to discourage a hostile nation. And if you haven’t noticed the smart weapons used cut down on civilian casualties to a remarkable degree.

    4) So what do you think the 500+K of South Korea active military is likely to do when Kim moves south? Not to mention the 37K we have stationed there. Is that a force large enough to takeover NK? Possibly, but probably not what the generals would prefer. Is it big enough to slow NK down until their own logistics causes the attack to collapse? Almost definitely.
    BTW, Iran doesn’t border Israel and has no way of attacking other than air or missiles. While shooting down missiles is always a tricky operation, I suspect that Israel would have no trouble taking care of the Iranian air force on its own.
    And yes, the questions of Nukes is a poser. But given some of the Iranian pronouncements on essentially end of the world type stuff and the fact that Kim doesn’t seem to have his oars firmly in the water, the issue may not be subject to rational logic

    6) You just can’t admit that Libya gave up their WMD program (and admitted to past terrorist activity) because Bush spoke softly to them and let them see we carried a big stick.

    If you really want to talk about another war that could really give us trouble, look to China. You can make a good case for irregardless of Iraq, does the US have a large enough active duty military to take care of China if it attacks. But then, we had the same situation during the cold war with Russia.

    Sorry legion, you aren’t very persuasive that the reason Bush is rallying the neighbors for corralling NK diplomatically is because we don’t have any more “bullets” for a military option.